While watching Lionel Messi play might be one of the most beautiful sights, it is something that will not remain permanent. That is what Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde seemed to suggest when he was talking to the reporters ahead of his team’s LaLiga match against Real Mallorca on Saturday.
“It’s something natural, it seems normal, Leo is 32-years-old and although I don’t think he’s thinking about retiring now it’s something which is in the air,” Valverde said.
“But I don’t think we should go crazy about it, we have to look at it naturally. Everyone thinks about retirement when they get to a certain age, but just because he’s thinking about it doesn’t mean he’s going to retire in the next three days.”
Messi has recently added another accolade to his already illustrious career. Last week, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time in his career. Earlier this year, he was also voted as the FIFA Best Men’s player of the year.
Valverde felt that he was fortunate to get an opportunity to coach a man of such calibre.
“I’m aware of how lucky I am but sometimes the demands of everyday life means you are not allowed to enjoy everything. I think you appreciate these things more with time,” he said. “I’m aware that I have the enormous fortune of being able to say in a few years I coached Leo.
— France Football (@francefootball) December 2, 2019
“In the same way that older people talk about Di Stefano, we will be able to tell future generations that we lived through the Messi era and some people like me will be able to say we enjoyed it close by.”
In the 2019/20 season so far, Messi has 11 goals to his name. He will be gearing up for Saturday’s encounter having scored another one of his scrumptious goals in the Champions League in the mid-week against Atletico Madrid.